Guardian ad Litem
A Guardian ad Litem is a legal guardian appointed by a court to represent the best interests of minor children and incompetent persons in legal proceedings. They are often used in child custody, child support, visitation rights and parentage cases. In proceedings involving minor children, either parent can request the use of a Guardian ad Litem or the court can appoint one on its own motion.
Upon being appointed to serve as Guardian ad Litem, we serve the needs of minor children and incompetent persons for the duration of the legal action. The duties often depend on the ages of those involved and the specific circumstances of each case. Here are some examples:
Gather evidence – we take our time collecting all of the needed evidence by compiling all of the relevant facts, interviewing witnesses, investigating issues and concerns and obtaining school, criminal and medical records and other necessary documents.Provide support – we provide essential support to children's emotional and legal needs by familiarizing ourselves with the family through observation and monitoringMake crucial decisions – we make decisions that serve the best interest of the child or incompetent person by determining the need for psychological evaluations or counseling and making recommendations to the court regarding custody and visitationWork with the courts and attorneys – we work with attorneys to determine their positions on pertinent issues and assist the courts by offering testimony, filing motions, conducting discovery and examining witnesses at trialEnsure compliance – we make sure that parties comply with court orders to ensure the needs of the represented person are being metMake recommendations – we make recommendations to serve the best interests of the child or incompetent person by examining the need for psychological evaluations or counseling and making recommendations to the court regarding visitation.